College hosts Student Organization and Appreciation Day

East Carolina University’s College of Engineering and Technology hosted its Student Organization and Appreciation Day on Tuesday, an event sorely missed last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A member of the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering talks to a student during Student Organization and Appreciation Day. (Photos by Ken Buday)

“We definitely had challenges getting people to the meetings because it was virtual,” said April Harmon, representing ECU’s International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers. “Group membership was hard because it was difficult to reach out to new students when you are virtual, and events weren’t as prevalent as they are now.”

More than 15 student organizations set up tables, displayed banners, gave away merchandise and chatted up their clubs to prospective members who attended the two-hour event. All enjoyed some free pizza for lunch.

Landon Simmons, a sophomore industrial technology major from New Bern, emerged from the atrium in the Science and Technology Building with a variety of handouts and new contacts from the student groups.

“I’m looking for a club that will help me find internships,” he said.

Simmons said the National Society of Black Engineers chapter caught his attention.

“Even though engineering is in their name, they had IT and other stuff, too,” he said. “It seemed like a good group of peers who will give me support.”

Brandon Wright, a sophomore engineering major, greeted guests at the NSBE table.

“We focus on academics and successful professionals who positively impact the community,” Wright said. “Anyone can join. It’s not just for African Americans. It’s for anyone who wants to help create a culturally, respectful place in the engineering community.”

The Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers table stayed busy.

Wright said the organization provides workshops and experiences in engineering and other industries to the benefit of its members, a point he emphasized as students visited the table.

“We just want people to check out or join our organization,” Wright said.

Harmon welcomed students to the ISPE table, where a computer monitor highlighted the group’s accomplishments.

“We create events so students interested in pharmaceutical engineering or really anything related to the topic can come and discuss it with members of industry or professors to help prepare them for a future of working in that industry,” she said.

With health care on the minds of many, the pharmaceutical industry continues to grow, Harmon said, making it a good career choice for students.

“It’s a good climate for us because we can always relate what we’re learning and what we’re doing to something that’s going on now,” she said.

With just about a dozen members, the club’s main goal of Student Organization and Appreciation Day was to get its name out to students.

“We just mainly wanted to make people more aware of our club,” Harmon said. “We’re a pretty small club so with just want to introduce people to ISPE and what we do.”

Information on all of the college’s student organizations can be found online.

Brandon Wright, right, representing the National Society of Black Engineers, talks with engineering teaching instructor Michael Borer.